GMail Voice: A Million Calls in 24 Hours

If there was any question that Google Voice/GMail calling was going to be popular, let’s put that to rest. Google announced earlier today that in the 24 hours since Google’s new free-calls-to-phones service went live there were over a million calls. I don’t yet have access so I can’t give you my personal impressions and experience. Reviews have been generally positive but mixed in terms of call quality. Here are two . . . InformationWeek:
How was call quality? Calls were about on par with what you expect from VoIP. They were somewhat muffled and “digital” sounding. Several of the people with whom I spoke noted that I sounded “echo-y.” In other words, we’re not talking pin-drop quality here, but an average VoIP client. I tested several Skype-to-Skype calls for comparison, and Skype performed at about the same level.  
We were pleased with the call quality, overall, which we tested with other U.S. callers using landlines and mobile phones. Calls were loud and mostly clear, however, there were a few moments of garbled voices on multiple calls. There was also sometimes a noticeably persistent high buzz, but it did not distract from the meat of the call. The experience was about on par for VoIP calls, which are known to break up due to variable conditions with the callers’ hardware, strength of Internet connection, and the telecommunications channels that process the voice data.  
Screen shot 2010-08-26 at 12.50.16 PM Assuming that, as these reviews say, the call quality is comparable to other VoIP offerings it becomes a viable telephony solution that for many could replace landlines, whether business or personal. It’s hard to argue with free.